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Home / Science / The use of asteroid resources is the path to the first trillionaire, Goldman Sachs

The use of asteroid resources is the path to the first trillionaire, Goldman Sachs

  Are we in danger? Asteroid 3122 Florence is scheduled to witness a close encounter with Earth on September 1.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos became the first man on Earth to officially accumulate over $ 100 billion in assets. The shocking number may be insane for some, but experts claim that the record could be broken soon. According to Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., an American multinational investment bank and financial services company based in New York City, someone on Earth will soon exceed the $ 1 trillion limit and this vast wealth will come from asteroid mining.

Asteroids are a rich source of minerals and precious metals. Even mining an asteroid becomes feasible and cheaper by the day. According to the Goldman Sachs report, we will soon find an asteroid rich in precious metals such as platinum, and its mining will be a very profitable business.

"While the psychological barrier for mining asteroids is high, the actual financial and technological barriers are much deeper: Prospecting probes can probably be built for tens of millions of dollars each, and Caltech has suggested that an asteroid-grabbing room $ Could cost 2.6 billion, "says the report.

$ 2.6 billion sounds like a lot, but it's only about a third of the amount invested in Uber, putting the price within reach of today's VC funds. It is also comparable to the installation costs of a normal terrestrial mine. (This MIT paper estimates that a new rare earth mine can cost up to $ 1 billion from scratch.)

There is only one problem: the same asteroid would immediately fill up the entire platinum market: "Successful asteroid mining would probably make the crater destroy The global price of platinum, with a single 500-meter-wide asteroid that constitutes nearly 175 times global production, according to the MIT's 2016 mission. "

Despite this, Goldman is bullish. "We expect systems to be built for less than the given trends in spacecraft manufacturing costs and technological improvements, and given the willingness to invest on Earth, we think financing a space mission is not out of the possibilities."

The first trillionaire that will ever exist is the person who exploits the natural resources on asteroids, "said expert astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. "There is this vast universe of boundless energy and limitless resources, and I look to wars for access to resources, which could be a thing of the past once space becomes our backyard."

Dr. Will Davies, Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Center at Goldsmiths College, said, "Although philanthropy is quite virtuous, there are obvious risks: when companies make donations in areas, they often push their strategic interests Allowing individuals to support potentially fancier agendas and cultivating pet projects that may become all-new academic areas. "

Davies agrees that" the moment for a populist response to these concentrations is ripe for prosperity, "which is against technology monopolies how Amazon could be used, but fears that regulators and governments have lost much of their authority in our current political culture. For Davies, the rise of the super-rich has been accompanied by a "successful conservative ideology that, supported by the right-wing media, has created the impression that the super-rich are less dangerous than the government bureaucrats." Asteroid Degradation is the exploitation of raw materials from asteroids and other minor planets, including near-Earth objects. Minerals can be extracted from an asteroid or a spent comet, then used in space for building materials or returned to Earth.

These include gold, iridium, silver, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium, ruthenium and tungsten for return to earth; Iron, cobalt, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, aluminum and titanium for construction.

Due to the high takeoff and transportation costs of space flights, the inaccurate identification of asteroids that are suitable for mining, and the in situ ore mining, terrestrial mining remains at stake the only means of extracting raw materials today. As the funding for public or private space programs increases dramatically, this situation is likely to change in the future as resources on Earth become increasingly scarce and the potential of asteroid mining and space exploration in general is further explored. 19659014]: 47f However, it is still uncertain whether asteroid mining will develop to achieve volume and composition in time to fully compensate for dwindling terrestrial reserves

An important factor in target selection is the orbital economy , in particular the speed change (Δ v ) and the travel time to and from the destination. A larger portion of the extracted native material must be used as a propellant in higher trajectories v returning less than payload. Direct Hohmann trajectories are faster than Hohmann trajectories, supported by planetary and / or lunar flybys, which in turn are faster than the interplanetary transport network, but shortening the transfer time costs […] v

near-Earth Asteroids are considered candidates for early mining activities. Their low Δ v makes them suitable for use in mining materials for near-earth space facilities, which greatly reduces the economic cost of transporting supplies to Earth orbit.

The above table shows a comparison of Δ v requirements for various missions. In terms of propulsion energy needs, a mission to a near-Earth asteroid is advantageous over alternative mine missions.

An example of a possible target for an early asteroid mining expedition is 4660 Nereus, which is expected to be primarily enstatite. This body has a very low Δ v compared to the lifting of materials from the surface of the moon. However, it would require a much longer round trip to return the material.

Several types of asteroids have been identified, but the three main types would include the C-type, S-type, and M-type asteroids: [19659020] C-type asteroids have a high water abundance not currently available for mining, but could be used in an exploration effort beyond the asteroid. The operational costs could be reduced by using the available water from the asteroid. C-type asteroids also have a lot of organic carbon, phosphorus and other important fertilizer ingredients that could be used to grow food.

  • S-type asteroids carry little water, but look more attractive as they contain numerous metals, including nickel cobalt and more valuable metals such as gold, platinum and rhodium. A small 10-meter S-type asteroid contains approximately 650,000 kg of 50 kg metal in the form of rare metals such as platinum and gold.
  • M-type asteroids are rare but contain up to 10 times more metal than S-types
  • A class of easily retrievable objects (EROs) was identified in 2013 by a group of researchers , Twelve asteroids formed the originally identified group, all of which could possibly be mined using today's rocket technology. Of the 9,000 asteroids searched in the NEO database, these twelve could be placed in Earth-orbit by changing their speed by less than 500 meters per second (1,800 km / h; 1,100 mph). The dozen asteroids have a size of 2 to 20 meters.

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